5 Mistakes To Avoid When Buying a Home Sight Unseen

Finding a great deal on a new home can seem like a dream come true, but don’t let a low price blind you to potential problems with the deal. More than ever, home buyers are signing contracts for properties sight unseen. Part of the reason for this is that the Covid-19 pandemic has made it more difficult to tour homes, but there’s also a growing inventory of homes available due to Baby Boomers getting older and downsizing after renovating.

Renovated homes are available in many areas like Lakeland because of the same shift in age demographics. Renovated homes for sale in Lakeland often include modern amenities, and because renovations have already been completed, there’s often less stress on buyers.

Whether you’re purchasing a new home, a renovated home, or anything in between, completing the purchase sight unseen can be tricky. Thankfully, there are some simple tips you can follow to make the process easy and avoid surprises down the road.

Below are 5 mistakes to avoid when buying a home sight unseen:

1. Check Out a Floor Plan

Even though a floor plan doesn’t allow you to see the property, it will give you a better idea as to how the property will function as a residence or how it will be an asset as a rental property. The floor plan may not show the condition of a home, but it will let you know if you’re going to face renovations to modernize the features of the home down the road.

2. Have the Home Inspected

Most sellers are honest, but there are times when certain problems with a property may be “omitted” in a sight-unseen sale. This can lead to unfortunate surprises when a buyer finally takes ownership of the property and finds out that the roof needs to be replaced and there’s wood rot all along the back of the home. An inspection is usually required if you’re financing a home, but if you’re paying cash, it would be wise to still have an inspection and appraisal completed.

3. Utilize Technology to the Fullest

Just because you aren’t able to actually see the home prior to the purchase doesn’t mean that you can’t utilize technology to get an inside view. Consider asking the seller to take you on a live video tour of the property using smartphone apps that allow video conferencing. If this isn’t possible, ask the seller to record a video walk-through of the property and upload it to a video-sharing site like YouTube for later viewing and sharing.

4. Make Sure Your Contract is Accurate

Because you’re buying a home sight unseen, make sure your contract includes information that is specific to who is responsible for repairs, upgrades, and renovations if any are needed. If the contract simply states that you are agreeing to purchase the home sight unseen, this gives the impression that you’re agreeing to buy the home “as is”. This type of agreement could be expensive on your end if the home requires extensive repairs and renovations since the contract leaves you on the hook for everything.

5. Work with a Local Real Estate Professional

Even if you’re seasoned in the art of buying and selling homes, working with a local real estate professional can potentially give you insight into a number of factors that you might not know when buying a home sight unseen. A local realtor can offer information about the area, a history of the economics and development of the region, and estimates as to the future of property values nearby. Additionally, a local realtor can often handle things like taking video and pictures of the property for you so that you can still complete the purchase remotely while getting a good deal and peace of mind.

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